I have heard Ms. Mendez speak several times and have always enjoyed the opportunity so I jumped at the chance to hear her talk last week about low maintenance gardening.
Her top design tips for a knockout garden were:
- Use foliage to provide interest and drama three or four seasons of the year
- Bulbs placed in among perennials and shrubs can provide a lot of color
- Flowering shrubs require less maintenance and can provide the equivalent of seven or more perennials in the same space
- Use color as a design tool to trigger emotion or draw a person’s attention towards or away from something
- Repetition in the garden is a positive thing and creates rhythm and ties a garden together
- Give the eyes a rest with some garden art pieces like benches, containers, bird baths that allow the eye to move around
- Reach for the sky with vertical interest by using trellises, arbors, or pergolas
- Plant in multiples for a statement with odd numbers (three, five, seven)
- A neat edge to your garden functions like a picture frame enclosing a beautiful garden space
- Mix a variety of shapes – sky, mounded, irregular, rounded, etc.
She had a couple of interesting suggestions for a shade garden that I’m on the hunt for right now – Lemony Lace Elderberry and Banana Boat Sedge.
For those downsizing or living in an urban environment, Brazel Berries sells a large variety of berries in containers that fit quite nicely on a patio or balcony.
Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries can all grow right in a container.
Have you ever wanted to find an annual (one pot) that will cover 4-5′ and not need to be deadheaded? How about Proven Winner’s Vista Series Petunias. I’m not promoting Proven Winners, but this plant was amazing with regard to the space it covered and the fact that it didn’t need to be deadheaded.
Looking for new watering techniques to save time, money, and resources? One of my fellow Master Gardener’s is quite an expert on wicking and did a post on how she incorporates wicking in her raised beds. Interesting topic as we all look for new and improved ways to garden.
Happy gardening this week. 🙂